Third-year Mariel Messier brings her passion for sports directly into the offices of The Cavalier Daily, where she currently serves as Senior Sports Editor.
Messier became involved with the paper during her second year, calling the pursuit “a no-brainer.” A sports fan who discovered her love of observing and speaking about sporting events in high school with her father and friends, Messier says that she is interested in pursuing a career in sports media. She currently is a student in the Batten School majoring in Public Policy & Leadership and Media Studies.
Messier began her time in the sports beat of the paper covering the wrestling team. She notes that she was often the only member of the media present at wrestling events.
“Being the only person conducting interviews after a match meant that it was a much more personal experience – I really got a feel for how passionate the coach and his athletes were,” she says. “I loved having the ability to cover a team that doesn’t get the media exposure that they deserve.”
In Fall 2016 Messier moved to cover the football team. She now covers the basketball team.
Through covering these events, Messier says that she often reflects on her unique position as a woman in a male-dominated field. She notes that she will often be covering a press conference for a team and realize that she is the only, or one of the only, women present.
“I think those experiences are some of my favorite parts, though, because it’s in those moments that I realize that I’m doing something different,” she says. “I’ve learned the importance of commanding respect and attention through my work. I’m really thankful that The Cavalier Daily has given me the opportunity to go against the grain and challenge myself in that respect.”
In her time with the paper, Messier says that she has learned a great deal, especially in moving from a writing and reporting role to an editorial role. She says she grew both in writing quality and making connections, and now she is developing her leadership, time management and organizational skills.
In her new role, Messier hopes to encourage the paper’s development into a more digitally savvy production by expanding multimedia capabilities, interactive features and social media usage.
She summarizes her time with the paper simply, saying, “All in all, I really can’t imagine my time at UVA without spending late nights covering UVA sports.”